I’m super stoked to introduce my friend, Tyler Cox, to all of you! Tyler and his lovely wife, Heather, co-lead the church plant, Legacy Life Centre, that I am a part of. I’ve been bugging him to write for me for a while now because he has such depth of wisdom and humility (a great combo) and, most of all, he loves people well. I think you’ll see what I mean as he shares his heart on the topic of relationships here…
I think if you were to ask most people what the most important thing in life is, the thing at the end of life they would want to have experienced, their answer would have a lot to do with their relationships. Most people, when they breathe their last breath would wish to be surrounded by their closest family; they would want to laugh and cry and share a few more moments of intimacy before they leave.
If you think about the most significant things in your life, they are more than likely attached to your relationships. This is what we were created for, every one of us: close, intimate relationships, full of unconditional love. When we don’t have these relationships, things can go really wrong. We can miss God’s purpose for our life.
Our purpose always runs through a person, or better, through a people. God has a home for every one of us, a place where our roots go deep and where we grow big, strong and healthy. These are the places where we find our destiny. If it is through relationship, both with God and others, that we find and fulfill our destiny, then in a lot of ways we need to redefine the way we think about relationships. The people we are close with aren’t a means to an end or a ticket to success; they aren’t just there for a season and then gone for the next. They are the people God wants us to do life with, the people we are called to. Psalm 92:12-14 says,
“The righteous will flourish like a palm tree,
they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon;
planted in the house of the Lord,
they will flourish in the courts of our God.
They will still bear fruit in old age,
they will stay fresh and green.”
Being planted means we are established as part of a local church. It means we are steadfast, faithful and immovable. God loves when our roots grow deep because we stay fresh, we don’t lose our vigour and we always produce fruit for His kingdom.
Think about it.
Have you ever seen a tree just pick up and move, dragging its roots along with it? It doesn’t happen because the tree would die if it uprooted itself.
In many ways, when we are constantly on the move, hopping from church to church or refusing to settle down, we stop producing fruit. We can grow tired and disillusioned and, at worst, we become a poor representation of our King and His kingdom.
The beautiful thing is God is always wooing us to become a part of something more than ourselves; He will always give you an opportunity to partake in the sweetness of fellowship. (Psalm 55:14)
Here are some good examples of what I am talking about:
Joshua was strong because he refused to leave Moses. He found his destiny because he submitted his heart to the mission of his spiritual father.
Ruth became Jesus’ ancestral grandmother because she found a home with Naomi.
Elisha was used as a powerful vessel for God’s kingdom because he stuck by Elijah, even when Elijah told him to beat it!
Jesus was at home in his earthly father’s house, working as a carpenter until the age of 30, and we all know what happened after.
Paul and Timothy, David and Jonathan, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; the Bible is full of the kind of relationships that are grounded in faithfulness and steadfastness.
God Himself is Father, Son and Holy Spirit in complete undisrupted unity for all time. Unified relationship is the model of heaven. We always pray for heaven to come to earth; I don’t think it has to look very complicated. It looks like people who love each other, who stick by each other through thick and thin and who pull the Kingdom of Heaven to earth together. We can do good things alone — we can do great things together.
Perhaps the reason the entire world has not yet seen the full power of the kingdom of God is because His sons and daughters are not acting like sons and daughters.
Our roots are shallow because we skip to one place and hop to the next, trying to catch the next ‘wave of the spirit’ or the next great move of God. Sometimes we act like Holy Spirit chasers instead of recognizing the gift of God and the power at hand right in front of us.
We lack the intimacy (into-me-see) sons and daughters know. Intimacy heals us and when we don’t have it we can never truly be made whole. We are hurt in relationship, but when we are in the right ones, we are restored and made whole.
I think the world is waiting for a generation of Ruth’s who will rise up and say to each other,
“Where you go I will go and where you stay I will stay.”
If there is one thing the people of the kingdom of God need to manifest now more than ever it is a love for each other so deep the world can’t help but take notice. The world is starved for authentic, pure love; for a long time, kingdom people have been starving for the same thing. God is putting an end to independent ways of living and thinking. And that’s really good news for us.
[Featured Photo: Creative Commons, WackyBadger]
About the Author:
My name is Tyler Cox. My wife Heather and I, along with a bunch of other awesome people, started a church in Huntsville, Ontario in October 2012. We live in Huntsville with our 6-month old son. Our heart is to see the earth look like heaven and to see His kingdom come through fathers, mothers, sons and daughters walking together in oneness. (Facebook, Twitter)